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Get Your Flu Shot!

El Cerrito Police Officer getting vaccinated

El Cerrito Police Officer getting vaccinated

BY DANIEL MCGLYNN AND ALEXIA UNDERWOOD //

October 21, 2008// The Contra Costa Health Department will be administering flu shots today in El Cerrito.  The clinic will take place at the Community Center, 7007 Moeser Lane from 1-3 p.m.

The Health Department is administering vaccinations throughout the county in October and November, to prepare for flu season.  Rates of infection by the virus are usually highest after Thanksgiving, and peak in February.

“Flu season is hard to predict,” said Ken August of the California Department of Public Health, “but you should get a flu shot now, before Influenza season.”

The Department of Health recommends that pregnant women, adults over 50, people with chronic medical problems, residents in nursing homes, individuals caring for infants, and healthcare workers get the flu vaccine.

Vaccinations at the community center

Vaccinations at the community center

Jenssen, the immunization coordinator for the Contra Costa County Health Department, said that the flu clinics offer a choice of a nasal spray or a regular shot.

“Children tend to be more interested in not getting the shot,” she said.

This is the first year that the Center for Disease Control (CDC) is recommending children, age six months to 19 years, receive a flu vaccine.

“School children are often the ones passing around the flu, so by protecting the kids, we stop the spread of the flu in the larger community,” said Jenssen.

Because of the new recommendation, which will increase the numbers of people using the flu clinics, the CDC increased this year’s shipment by more than 100,000 doses.

“It think it will go very smoothly.  There are enough supplies for everyone,” said Jenssen.  “It takes about five minutes.”

The suggested donation for the county clinic’s shot is $15, but no one will be turned away for financial reasons.  Besides the vaccine administered by the state, flu shots can also be obtained at doctors’ offices or private flu vaccine clinics.

The spread of influenza can be greatly curtailed if people stay home when they are sick, or by frequently washing hands.

For more information, call the Contra Costa Health Department at 1-800-246-2494.
Find it on the web at www.cchealth.org

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